This presentation demonstrates the various steps involved when setting up an institutional repository within a South African context. The paper was presented during the "Ninth Southern African Online Information Meeting", 3 – 5 June 2008, held at the CSIR Conference Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
World-wide the paradigm is to make research collections available online, thereby improving access to information that is of great value for research. Since the facilitation of access to information (for research as well as e-research purposes) is a primary function of academic or research libraries, libraries can take the initiative to implement a digital research repository in order to manage, organize, preserve, distribute and offer access to research conducted by the members of that institution. If an institution supports open access, wants to increase the usage and visibility of research conducted at that institution and wants to preserve all research output digitally, an institutional repository is the answer.
This paper will address the process of implementing an institutional repository successfully. The focus will be specifically on African and South African institutions (incl. libraries), that need support and guidance to do so. The Institutional Repository Toolbox will be demonstrated, a tool that was specifically developed keeping the needs of African and South African institutions in mind. The Toolbox offers guidance on the following:
o Conducting a needs analysis
o Compiling a proposal & business plan
o Evaluating available IR software
o Addressing design & development issues
o Implementing stage, and the evaluation processes
o Marketing and promoting the institutional repository
o Registering the institutional repository with harvesters et al., and making it more visible.
Through sharing the above, others can also become part of this very dynamic community. In the end not only will librarians be able to expand on their existing skills and library roles, but researchers and institutions will also benefit – due to higher visibility and usage – since their research will have a greater impact on the world out there.